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Residents get ear of Congress at town hall meetings
Politics » Some fear forums are on the decline and that lawmakers are dodging voters, tough questions.


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Town hall value » Chaffetz has praise for traditional town hall meetings.

"If you are going to be the representative for 800,000 people, you should be able to stand there and answer questions. I get a lot out of it, and it allows the public to voice their concerns. It’s what being a representative is all about."

At a glance

Utah congressional town hall meetings

Following is a list of remaining meetings scheduled during Congress’ August recess:

Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah »

Aug. 15: 7:30 p.m, Crossroads Center, 50 E. 200 South, Roosevelt

Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah »

Aug. 20: 5 p.m, Wayne County Community Center, 605 S. 350 East, Bicknell

Aug. 20: 8 p.m., Piute County Administration Building, 550 N. Main Street, Junction

Aug. 22: 6 p.m., Salt Lake City District Office, 136 E. South Temple Suite 900, Salt Lake City

Aug. 27: 5 p.m., Garfield County Building, 55 S. Main St., Panguitch

Aug. 27: 8 p.m., District Court, 76 N. Main St., Kanab

Aug. 28: 5:30 p.m., Dixie High School, 350 E. 700 South, St. George

Aug. 28: 8 p.m., Southern Utah University Alumni House, 351 W. University Blvd., Cedar City

Sept. 4: 7:30 p.m., Avenues Sweet Library, 9th avenue and F Street, Salt Lake City

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah »

Aug. 20: 7 p.m., Museum of the San Rafael, 70 N. 100 East, Castle Dale

Aug. 21: 7 p.m., Holladay City Hall, Big Cottonwood Room, 4580 S. 2300 East

Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah » None

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah » None

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah »

Aug. 21: 7 p.m., High Chaparral Building, Spanish Fork Fairgrounds, 475 S. Main St.

Aug. 22: 7 p.m,. Plain City Senior Center, 4160 W. 2200 Nort.

Aug. 27: 7 p.m., Old Court House, 57 S. Main St., Tooele

Aug. 28: 7 p.m., Davis County Administration Building, 61 S. Main St., Farmington

Sept. 5: 7 p.m., Kanab High School, 59 E. Cowboy Drive, Kanab

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Stewart has a similar view.

"I think people want a chance to talk to their congressman, and I want to have a chance to know what they are thinking and feeling. I just think it’s an important part of democracy to have that face-to-face interaction between constituents and their leaders — maybe especially if they are really worked up."

He said it can be somewhat soothing, even to people who do not win on an issue, to at least be heard face-to-face.

"In some cases, I can’t help them. In some cases, I may disagree with them. But at least they know I am giving them respect to give them that forum," he said.

"I really do enjoy them [town hall meetings] and think they are important. We have had occasions where people come to disrupt them, but those are really rare. For us, they have almost always been a positive experience," Stewart said.

ldavidson@sltrib.com




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